We have been getting more into making our own baby food and we love it! So far Aria loves both bananas and avocados. She sometimes grabs the spoon or my hand and opens her mouth so wide. That’s my girl! :’-) I was so excited to introduce Aria to different fruits and vegetables, pacing ourselves of course and only starting after doing some research, asking a few questions, and making sure that we start with things that are least likely to give her any kind of reaction especially since we found that we want to start a little early. I put in sooo much breast milk when we started a few weeks ago because, no matter what, I was still a scaredy cat! Now I am all about it. I think that we will try sweet potatoes next to get a cool new color in there!
Making homemade baby food is becoming more and more popular with parents today and here are some of the reasons ♡:
- Parents lock in the vitamins and nutrients in the food by steaming or roasting instead of boiling them out like baby food manufacturers do
- They know exactly what they’re feeding their baby
- They can save money! $$$
- They get baby used to eating the same food as the rest of the family — just in puree form.
- They can choose their own fruits, vegetables, and other foods for purees, instead of relying on the flavors chosen by manufacturers. You’re not going to find melons or avocados in the baby food section of the supermarket.
- They give their baby a broader pallet and will most likely lead to their own amazing food choices later on.
- They protect their baby from developing food allergies
“What sealed the deal for me was finding out that jarred food is cooked at extremely high temperatures to kill bacteria for longer storage, at the same time taking out many of the food’s vitamins and nutrients and taste,” says Bartalos. “I would roast, steam, or boil veggies or fruit on the weekends and puree in a mini food processor. I’d make three or four different fruits and veggies at a time, so I had a month’s worth of food with each cooking weekend.” ~ Myra Bartalos, mother of 2-year old baby girl
The only negatives reported by parents who tried making their own homemade food was that it was less convenient than buying jarred food and some parents did not have the space to store the food. Aria already has her own cabinet and takes up a decent chunk of the freezer with her milk, might as well have her own shelf… Taking over the world one cubby hole at a time!!!
- Wash and rinse your hands and equipment.
- Scrub and peel fruits and vegetables.
- Bake, steam, roast, or microwave until tender — steaming and microwaving preserve the most nutrients (fruits like bananas and avocados are already tender :-P).
- Puree in a food processor or blender with a little liquid (water, breast milk, or formula) until there are no chunks, or mash if your baby can handle more texture.
- Store in the refrigerator or freezer, in airtight containers is best. (Packaged baby foods can be stored in the cupboard until they’re opened; because they’re fresh, homemade baby foods can’t.)
- There are a number of storage containers sold specifically for refrigerating and freezing small serving-sized amounts of baby food; you can also use an ice cube tray or mini cupcake tray
- Rewarm when it’s time to eat and allow to cool. (WebMD) ♡
I thaw her frozen food in their container for at least 10 minutes in a bowl of hot water. I do not want it to get too hot from microwaving and lose nutrients or burn her, and I do not like to microwave the plastic even if it is microwave safe. Glass is safest to microwave.
Breast milk is all she needs nutritionally but I believe that a growing baby needs a little more to keep her full and satisfied (and aria is drinking the same amount of milk per day! I give her milk shortly after she has her puree). Some parents start with baby cereals and it’s just blanked and believed to not be able to be properly digested by babies until they are a year old. I want Aria to love healthy foods and we are locking in all of the taste and nutrients and blocking out the bad stuff by making our own baby food! I am definitely going to take the little bit of extra time to puree more and more food for Aria! We need to make a trip to the grocery store to get some more food choices once her other containers come!
Something that I learned while I was reading about babies while I was being huge and pregnant was that it is best to not always mix a fruit with veggies. Babies grow to love the sweet taste and want sweet only when their vegetables are always mixed with a fruit. Don’t hide the veggies!! We are going to make sure that we switch it up as much as possible after trying things out by themselves first. Have to broaden that pallet and grow that love for veggies!
I LOVE all that I have seen so far while flipping through Top 100 Baby Purees by Annabel Karmel, which can be Purchased on Amazon >> here << for $13.65! Besides all of the amazing ideas and combinations of foods, this book also has extremely helpful information for basically every question you could ask AND the recipes go along with what the average baby can handle at each stage! It has everything from sweet potatoes and bananas to pasta and chicken!!!
Some other things that we have to help us out and will hopefully make the whole process fun and exciting for as long as possible…
- Ninja “Mega Kitchen System” — their blade design is so good at getting out every chunk. If you don’t use a blender much, you could get something smaller like this 450 Watt Ninja Master Prep (QB1000). Their names for things sound so intense.
- OXO Tot 12 Piece Baby BlocksTM Set — Some parents also just put tons of frozen baby food cubes from an ice tray and put them in plastic bags in their freezer! We got these because they are air tight and convenient!
- Baby Bjorn Soft Bib — We had the other plastic easy clean bibs that are sold almost everywhere (the ones that are more floppy) but I definitely love this bib more! It’s more sturdy so Aria doesn’t bring it up to her face a gajillion times, making a mess. Haha. It also catches more food!
- Infantino Squeeze Station — You can also spoon the food into the pouches but this seems to make filling pouches much faster!
- Squooshi Reusable Food Pouch
- Food Pouch Toppers
- Munchkin Click n’ Lock Fresh Food Freezer Pops
She has to wait a little while to use the pouches and pops but I am a firm believer in buying stuff way ahead of time (we have had these in her cabinet for a while, the book and squeeze station since before she was even born) because then I feel like we bought nothing when the time comes! Plus, time flies!!!
Yes I have an Amazon addiction! If you ever want to know where we got anything…Amazon (sometimes TJ Maxx). Shhh, don’t make me feel like a crazy! I just feel like by the time I talk myself into going to a store UPS will have it at my door. Two days? Yeah, probably sooner — definitely sooner. I like being in peaceful places like my house, the beach, or the park… stores aren’t always my favorite unless we are with papa bear who always makes it fun. But you can most likely find these items or similar items other places like Babies R’ Us and Target!
I’m probably going to home-make all of her snacks in the future too!….But one step at a time, before I make myself dizzy again.
Now if only I can resist eating her avocados…
What are/were your baby’s favorite food combinations!?
I am not a medical professional and these are not professional opinions. Always speak to your child’s pediatrician before starting your baby on solids and about any other questions you may have.